As we’re reaching the end of 2022, many of us are looking forward into 2023 to see what goodies and delights await us. In this case: new books. I made myself a shelf on GoodReads specifically for books releasing in 2023 that I’m interested in and it’s already over 30-strong(!) so I have attempted to condense that list into my most, or top, anticipated titles here. These aren’t in a strict preference order so instead of numbering them, I’ve ranked them in groups as to how excited the prospect of each book makes me.
This sounds interesting to me and I think it certainly deserves highlighting. I’m undecided whether it’s one I will prioritise just yet because I’m always a little wary when it comes to things tagged as YA. I don’t always get along with YA so I tend to wait until a few reviews from people I know start appearing before I jump in. That being said it’s a story about a teenage girl who finds a dragon egg and bonds with the hatchling; she is forced to go to a dragon school run by her people’s colonisers where she faces challenges that she must deal with, lest her dragon be killed. Coming-of-age, magic school, dragons? What’s not to be intrigued about!
Deep space, sci-fi horror? Yes, please! I’ve not come across Wellington before so I’m tempering my expectations (just in case, you understand) but from the blurb of Paradise-1, it certainly sounds right up my street. This year I have felt the need for a bit more sci-horror set in space so here’s hoping this turns out to be as cool as it sounds!
I am excite
The only reason this isn’t in a higher level of excitement is because I’m still a bit behind on the series and need to get through Of Darkness & Light first. I suspect if I was fully up to date I’d be bumping this up the ranks considerably. Of War & Ruin will be the third instalment in Cahill’s hugely popular indie debut series The Bound and the Broken, which will eventually have five primary works in addition to novellas (there are two of these already). If you’ve not come across the series yet, do consider taking a look at Of Blood & Fire (book #1) or The Fall (first novella, #0.5 in the series.)
The cover draws me in on this one; there’s a gigantic skull with a portal through it into a lush green world and some teeny-tiny people trekking towards it. It captures my imagination and the description doesn’t fail to back it up. At only 208 pages, it sounds like it’s going to be action packed. A female protagonist (who isn’t a teenager) only adds to the stack of elements pulling me towards The Keeper’s Six.
It’s called Godkiller. Anything that plays with the concept of killing gods and I am there. Add to that a gorgeous cover with some heavy nature vibes and the first line of the blurb: “Kissen kills gods for a living, and she enjoys it.” I had been umm-ing and ahh-ing over this one but what tipped me over the edge into excitement has been seeing book community folks whose tastes I trust recommending it.
It’s a big chonky grimdark, need I say more? OK, it also got 5 stars from John Mauro over at Grimdark Magazine – more? A foreboding figure adorning the cover; a tantalising blurb, and; the author is a lovely person active on the Keymark discord (formerly the SFF Oasis). If you’re still not convinced, I have heard nothing but amazing things about this upcoming book and I can’t wait to dig into it myself.
Besides a totally amazing title and great cover, the blurb mentioning living weapons has pulled me in. “The sword cares not who it cuts…” – how delightfully sinister sounding! Given the success of The Black Iron Legacy I am keen to explore a new, dark world from this author and the information so far for The Sword Defiant sounds oppressively gloomy. Perfect!
I’m putting these as an either/or situation because I just want another de Castell book to release already, regardless of whether it’s in The Greatcoats world or not. Both of these pique my interests and, given Play of Shadows repeated delays, I would be happy to get my hands on either next year!
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY
Yes, Tor done f*cked up with the artwork for this by using some AI-generated elements (and continuing to use them after they discovered this fact). I am still super excited to read *the book itself*. I don’t agree with everyone who has been trying to bomb the rating by posting 1-star reviews to a book that hasn’t even released because they are upset by Tor’s failures regarding the cover. I really enjoyed the first Fractalverse novel and it is in no way the author’s fault that his publisher made such a grave error. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars was an excellent sci-fi epic that I was both excited to read and enjoyed greatly once I did. Here’s hoping book two will blow me away as well.
A Persian-set fantasy interpretation of the Mongols invasion in the 13th Century by the author of the Quest for Heroes duology that I greatly enjoyed in 2022. I am keen to try more of Steven’s work and while I am eyeing up some of his back catalogue, this brand new beauty will be coming out in July 2023. The cover is enchanting and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
I adored The Priory of the Orange Tree and the stunning artwork by Ivan Belijov is back again for this standalone prequel. Honestly, this went on my TBR before I’d even read a blurb for it; it’s an insta-buy for me and I have already pre-ordered special edition copies of both books via The Broken Binding (sorry, folks, it’s already sold out). It’s not all about the art though; the storytelling of Shannon in the first book was captivating and made me feel so much for the world and its characters. I genuinely can’t wait to get back into this world.
The first book in this debut series, A Touch of Light, was one of my favourites of 2022 that left me dying to continue. Thankfully, A Shade of Madness is releasing early in 2023 to satiate that urge. The first book (and accompanying novella) were both excellent, riveting and wonderfully engrossing fantasy offerings. Thiago, as an added bonus, is also a very engaged and very friendly, kind author, which only adds to the experience. Bring me those gryffons!
How about you?
Are any of these on your list of anticipated releases for 2023? If not, what is on your list?